How to Make Easy Chocolate-Covered Toffee

This crunchy, salty butterscotch topped with creamy chocolate is a cookie exchange favorite.  (It was introduced to me at a caroling party in New York City by Amy Sevick-Healy from Minnesota, where they call it Lutheran Church Basement Toffee.)

It’s so fast and simple that my second-grader and I made it together in about 30 minutes with ingredients from our pantry. For an extra-delicious experience, use Ghiradelli semi-sweet chocolate chips, which got top billing from a Cooks Illustrated blind taste test.

Pair this homemade candy with a heartfelt card, and you have a wonderful, low-cost gift. Here is a blow-by-blow demonstration of the candy-making.  See also the one-page printable recipe version.

Quick Chocolate-Covered Toffee

Fills one 10″ x 13″ cookie sheet; makes about 70 two-inch toffee squares

  • 4 oz. (1/4 of a 1 lb. box or bag) of crackers or pretzels
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 12-oz. bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • sprinkles (optional)

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line a cookie sheet (10 x 13″ works well) with aluminum foil.  Grease the foil by rubbing with a stick of slightly-softened butter or by spraying with cooking oil.

2.  Crush crackers or pretzels and spread over the cookie sheet.

3.  Place butter and sugar in small saucepan over medium-high heat.

4.  Bring the butter and sugar to a boil and boil for 3 minutes, untouched.  (If you are making this recipe with children, it goes without saying to be very careful with the boiling toffee and hot cookie sheet.) The mixture should be completely blended and should look like this picture more or less. If you see pockets of melted butter, cook for a bit longer.

5.  Pour evenly over cracker mixture.

6.  Bake in a 400 degree oven for 5 minutes.

7.  Remove the cookie sheet from the oven, and immediately sprinkle the cracker-toffee with the chocolate chips.

8.  Use the back of a spoon to spread the chocolate evenly.

9.  Decorate with sprinkles if desired.

10.  Chill in the fridge or freezer (or outside in the cold) for at least 15 minutes.  Remove the foil and then cut into 2 inch strips.

Cut again crosswise to make 2 inch squares.  (If frozen, the toffee may become brittle and break into uneven pieces, but that’s okay too.)

Store in the fridge between layers of wax or parchment paper.

See also the one-page printable recipe version.

If you make it, please come back and tell me how it went!

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  • Lollipop Holidays March 26, 2012, 10:09 pm

    It’s hard to find educated people in this particular topic, however, you sound like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks

  • Dorothy Young February 16, 2012, 8:40 am

    These cookies already look delicious, so if they’re even better than they look then they must be truly amazing!

  • TUVANA December 17, 2011, 4:32 pm

    Making this now – my version is a little (ok, a LOT) lumpier but I imagine it will be delicious – chilling now in fridge ! Thanks Amy !! I used up a bunch of tiny Halloween pretzel bags, very helpful

    • Amy December 17, 2011, 9:20 pm

      Hi Tuvana,

      So psyched you are making it! It’s lumpier because you’re using the pretzels, I’m assuming. And how adorable that you still have mini pretzel packs from Halloween! I love using up stuff — especially right before an onslaught of new stuff.

      Thanks for writing in — I can’t wait til yours is chilled and you can taste it!


  • Sara December 6, 2011, 3:16 pm

    My friends and I call this recipe Christmas crack! We can’t stop eating it until we feel ill!

    • Amy December 6, 2011, 3:29 pm

      I love it — Christmas crack! I think you may have hit on the right nickname. I should have mentioned this liability. Another good reason to give away as much as possible! :-)

  • Ghi December 22, 2009, 5:53 pm

    We always try to make one treat for the holiday season, and this year the kids got involved in making Peppermint Bark =) They loved smashing up the candy canes! So far everyone has enjoyed it and I enjoy giving consumables as gifts instead of ‘stuff’ ~

  • Stephanie December 22, 2009, 8:48 am

    This looks really yummy! I have tons of Ritz crackers I need to use up too :) Definitely will try this recipe out…Thanks!
    .-= Stephanie´s last blog ..4 Ingredient dinner….. =-.

  • Nancy West December 21, 2009, 9:58 pm

    Amy, thanks for the validation! I just finished my candy-making TODAY. In all, I worked on it for nine days. The totals: 2 batches truffles (184 total), 2 batches peanut brittle, 1 batch almond brittle (because I ran out of peanuts), 3 batches toffee, 1 batch peppermint bark. Need I mention that I think I ate about 1/3 of the toffee myself? We’ll use this as gifts for teachers/bus driver/music instructor, a couple of friends, admins at my husband’s office, and the staff at the PO and library. For those whom I know don’t eat candy (like our super-healthful next door neighbors and my aunts), I made cranberry bread.

    After school this afternoon, Holly and I hand-delivered our candy assortment plates to the post office and library staff. For once we managed to do it enough days before Christmas that they’ll have time to enjoy the gifts before closing up for the holiday. I feel good about it and I think Holly had fun with it too. I might try your recipe next year though! Now I think I need to put myself on a candy-free fast…

  • Al December 21, 2009, 10:43 am

    Madeleine’s Christmas Caroling parties were the best Christmas parties I’ve ever attended. Thanks for the sweet memories to go with the sweet recipes!